Tuesday, July 30, 2013

GUEST BLOGGER KATHLEEN MAHER: The Season of Suddenlies (& Giveaways!!)

What a thrill it is to be here on Seekerville my first time! July has been a month of firsts for me.  I became a grandma for the first time, and even though my ego is a tiny bit bruised to realize that I am old enough to have a grand, I confess the love that bubbled up inside at seeing this little bundle was far greater than the bump to my vanity. This is Lucas Joseph, certain to be best of friends with the new royal baby.



I had a first baby of another sort in July, too. My first book baby, Bachelor Buttons! Well, this one is a bit small at 60 pages. It is more a novella baby, but it is mine and it is finally in print after a fun debut as an ebook since May. Right now Bachelor Buttons is #16 in Amazon top-rated Civil War History. Carrie Pagels whose Return to Shirley Plantation is #15, helped me every step of the way from
plotting to critiquing to promoting on this project. She is a cheerleader, a nightingale of encouragement, a rallying point, a mentor, and one heck of a writer. Can I just say I am blessed to have shared this journey with her?

This project came about at a very exciting time—the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Murray Pura invited me and Carrie and a dozen other authors to contribute to a novella collection to commemorate the battles of Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chancellorsville, and the Emancipation Proclamation, among other major events of 1863. Murray’s invite nearly coincided with my celebration over landing a terrific agent, the distinguished Texas gentleman Terry Burns. When the Lord moves, it is truly a season of suddenlies. Only the Lord could have orchestrated something so perfect for me. I am a Civil War fanatic, and a lover of New York state history. And not only that, but I was raised by a mother who kept alive the oral history of our Irish family back to five generations. It all gelled for me into a story about my Irish people in New York City during the Draft Riots of 1863.

Bachelor Buttons blurb: Rose Meehan longs for a better life than the tenements of New York City. Courted by two men--a young doctor who represents material security, and a poor violin instructor who has captured her heart--she must choose between a life of advantage-grabbing or a life of faith. When Manhattan explodes in mob rule following Lincoln's unpopular draft, the heroic action of one suitor brings provision for those she loves, and reveals God's plan.
Rose is based on my maternal great, great grandmother, and her two Irish suitors who really did run a foot race to settle who would have courting privileges with her. It was so much fun recreating the world she lived in, seeing again the sights of Manhattan 150 years ago, and hearing the music from the various ethnic sections that my novella touches on. From Irish fiddle music to African American “pattin’ de juba,” martial fife and drum, and the wonderful spirituals of the times, I enjoy immersing myself in the sounds from the era. I don’t want to spoil who wins Rose’s hand, but suffice to say music figures prominently in the story.

More about that season of suddenlies. My journey has been long and uneventful. I knew I wanted to be published since I was in junior high. That’s when I started writing in earnest, completing a novel in 8th grade and going on to write several since. I won’t reveal my age but you already know I am a grandmother, so you figure it’s been a long, loooooong time. I’ve known artists who wrote or painted work that glorified darkness, exploited people’s souls through gratuitous sex, the occult, or nihilism, and they seemed to find a ready audience whether they had developed craft or not. It was discouraging to say the least, and became tempting to sell out my message of hope and redemption, of God’s transformational power, but for God’s staying hand, keeping me. I long ago dedicated my writing, my craft, my message and my life to the Lord. Honoring him with all He has given me has been my offering to Him, and if He chose to bless my efforts, that was in His hands alone.

My theme verse became I Thessalonians 4:11”Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands.” I had no audience but the Lord. And for the longest time not even a steady critique partner, until I joined ACFW in 2008 and met my brilliant BFF and conjoined writing twin Debbie Lynne Costello. My craft and business savvy improved under Debbie Lynne’s eagle eye and marketing maven influence. Seekerville has played a big part, too. I felt kindred with the seekers, since some little voice in my heart told me that contests would play a major role in my own journey. And then in 2012 after entering contests since 2009, I finaled in the Genesis ... and then won! (swoon) Suddenly I was affirmed in ways I had never imagined. It was truly humbling and deeply moving, like God was receiving the offering I had given Him, and blessing it. It still makes me teary to think of how He can change our seasons from obscurity to debut in a moment. 
This is my theme song for my writing, and I hope you are blessed by it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVxerUJrKeA

ABOUT KATHLEEN:
Kathleen L. writes about New York State history http://kathleenlmaher.blogspot.com/ and enjoys promoting CBA releases on her http://fictionaddictionfix.blogspot.com/ blog. She and her husband live in a 100-year-old farmhouse in upstate NY with their three children, two rescued Newfoundland dogs, and a tuxedo cat complete their family.

GIVEAWAYS!!
As thanks for allowing me to guest on my dream blog, I’d like to offer a print copy of my novella and an ebook of Carrie’s, plus a Third Day’s Offerings CD to one lucky commenter today. GOOD LUCK!!

113 comments:

Helen Gray said...

Hey, Blogger is working in IE tonight.

Welcome, Kathleen, and congratulations on your firsts!

The coffee pot is ready for the gathering.

Helen

Lyndee H said...

Hi Kathleen,
We have a lot in common! I'm also a Civil War fanatic and I'm an Illinois history writer, so I have a connection to my state, also. And I am also too young to be a grand! Isn't it shocking, but wonderful? What will Lucas call you? Mine call me Grammy.

I really enjoyed reading your story. Congratulations on your new book and of course, on the precious grandson!

Melissa Jagears said...

It is a sudden thing isn't it? 0 to 120 in nothing flat! So glad you got your suddenlies!

Connie Queen said...

I love Civil War stories too.

I have 3 grandkids so far. I'm just ready for the rest of my kids at home to get older so they can leave and make more room to the grandkids!!!

July has been a terrific month for you. Seekerville is a perfect way to celebrate.

Kathleen Maher said...

Helen, thank you! I am ready for a cup and the late shift with you night owls.
Lyndee, another Civil War buff! And a young "grammie". :D It's crazy how such a little human can sneak into your life like a gypsy prince and steal your heart.
Melissa, you sure know about those suddenlies with your "overnight" success, right? :D So looking forward to reading your mail order bride story.

Kathleen Maher said...

Connie, I need another celebration for being on Seekerville! LOL Being here is as good as "the call"--it seems to make it all real in my mind. Terrific to meet another Civil War fan. And yes, I hear you about making room--I may have to build an addition for my little prince. Not that I mean to kidnap him for any real length of time, mind you. :D

Marianne Barkman said...

I'm glad you Re having your grand babies while you are still young enough to enjoy them! Congratulations!

Stacey said...

Congratulations on your grandson and your new book! I am so happy for you on both accounts. July was certainly busy for you. So happy I could be here on Seekerville to celebrate with you. I love a good Civil War story!

Kathleen Maher said...

Marianne, yes, I will enjoy that baby, and seeing my son get his payback as a worried parent almost as much! He was always the type of kid that had to learn the hard way. But he is taking to fatherhood so beautifully it makes me proud.
Stacey, I am delighted to meet another appreciator of Civil War stories. Some say the market is flooded with them, but I never get bored of them. It warms my heart to know I am not alone.

Rhonda's Doings said...

My first grandbaby is due 2/4/14. I am beyond thrilled.
Rhonda
mimosarose63@yahoo.com

Nancy Kimball said...

Kathleen!!! So great to see you here. Put me in the drawing please and I really enjoyed getting to know you in a personal overview of your writing journey. Best wishes to you and congrats on the new grandbaby. =)

Playground Monitor said...

Aren't grands great? I have two grandgirls by my older son. After raising two boys I have LOVED shopping in the little girls' department. I heart pink! The older one is 7 and loves to read. I feed that habit regularly. The younger one is 9 months old. And Lyndee, I'm Grammy too!

Congrats, Kathleen, on the new book and your beautiful grandson.

Marilyn

Tina Radcliffe said...

CONGRATULATIONS on all your births!!!

Kathleen Maher said...

Good morning Seekers! I am pulling zucchini bread and blueberry muffins from the oven and the cinnamon smell is divine wafting along with the coffee that Helen started.

Rhonda, how wonderful! Babies bring a tsunami of joy, so be prepared to be swept away.

Nancy, thank you so much! This year has gone by so fast, hasn't it? Genesis is here once again, and once again, you are in the top three. My money is on you, all the way my friend. And I am the first to admit, hist romance is a much bigger, tougher category. Can't wait to celebrate.

Marilyn, if grandsons are so much fun, I can't imagine a little girl! Oh, yes. Even though her Yankees pacifier will have to be pink, I think I can handle that! How wonderful that you are raising her on good books.

Tina, thank you! I feel like I finally have an excuse for my post-baby bump. Twins, no less. (We won't tell anyone that they were really chocolate and coffee twins)

Naomi Rawlings said...

Congrats, Kathleen! A grand baby and a novella all at the same time. I'm so glad things are working out for you. :-)

Kav said...

NEWFOUNDLAND DOGS????!!!!! Well, you can see I picked out the most important information in that blog, can't you? Sorry, I love dogs and newfies are a breed I adore. Alas I live in a very teensy house. A newf could stand with his head out the back window and his tail madly wagging at the front door. LOL. So no newf for me.

Ahem. Sorry. Now for the really important stuff. First, congrats on your births!!! You have this side of the Atlantic's royal prince I see. Glad you didn't call him George though.

And how did I not know about your book? Or that series? A serious slip on my part there. I love your description of the suddenlies and am thrilled that you've been blessed with a book baby this summer too. You are an example of perseverance!

Jackie said...

Hi Kathleen,
Welcome to Seekerville and congrats on an exciting month.
There's nothing like a baby. What a cutie.
I love to see how God brings things together for his faithful.
I'd love to have my name tossed into the hat for the drawing.
Thanks for sharing with us today.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

KATHLEEN!!!! A gal from my part of the country, praise the Lord and pass the pinstripes, how much do I love that baby's BINKY??????

THIS MUCH, LOL!!!!

SUHWWWEEEEET!

Oh my Derek Jeter Stars!!!!

First, what a wonderful way to debut, with a book about the Civil War and New Yorkers... because while so much of the war centers on the South, it was a country affair and lives were affected big time on both sides of the Mason Dixon line...

And what a great story line. Just lovely. So proud of you!

Lucas has a great name, a great grandmother and a chance to be anything he wants to be.

God is good! And may God bless America.

Kathleen Maher said...

Naomi, Kav, and Jackie, thank you! God has been so good to me in my little baby nest of love.

Kav, if you ever wanted to test drive a Newfoundland, you can borrow mine. He'll go to anyone for food. And tummy scratches. And a fresh lap to climb up on with all 140 lbs of drooling, slobbery love. No really, he's all yours--you just say the word. ;)
And I must agree--George is a great name for a family like the Windsors, but to me George will always be the old man I used to care for as a home health aid. I would have flashbacks of afternoon gin libations and marathons of the food network. Lucas has a much better ring to it!

Jackie, what a sweet welcome. Thank you so much, and I would be delighted to add you to the giveaway. Best of luck!

Kathleen Maher said...

Ruthy, you noticed his binkie! :D :D :D

I chose that photo just for you, but the truth is that this binkie is the only one he'll take. His daddy--my son--is a big-time Yankees fan, and he swears he did not try to imprint Lucas. What can I say? He is already a little man of refined taste.

I am delighted to tell the stories of New York like you have been doing right along. I really want to feature your Men of Allegany County books on my blog. Just what my readers would love! Thank you for the warm welcome and the kind wishes.

Mary Hicks said...

Is anything grander than a grand? Absolutely not! :-)

Congrats on all the firsts in your life, and I enjoyed your encouraging story. The verse in Thessalonians is one of my favorites too.

Dianna Shuford said...

Thanks for sharing your journey, Kathleen.

I became a grandmother last year, and like you, had to come to terms with the fact that I felt too young to have a grandson. But, he does lighten up the house with a lot of joy, laughter, and love. And even when I'm too tired to move, he makes sure I'm motivated not to rest by getting into everything.

I wish you great success in your first book. It sounds fun!

Kathleen Maher said...

Thanks, Mary--yes, not to grandstand, but my little one is indeed grand! Thanks for celebrating with me.

Kathleen Maher said...

Dianna, I can't wait until he is moving around and getting into trouble. That is when being a grammie will be the best, spoiling him and handing him back to mommy and daddy. But seriously, babies have a funny way of making us the student and teaching us. Book babies, too. I have learned so much already, and here I thought I was ready. Having a new baby is always a bigger experience than you are prepared for, that is for sure.

CatMom said...

Welcome Kathleen! Oh my---did I need your post today--thank you.

I loved reading about your writing journey and how you stayed on track for the Lord (and how HE blessed you *smile*). Congratulations on your novella and all the books I feel certain you'll have published in the future.

Big congrats on your precious Grandbaby! I'm not a Gramma yet, but Lord willing one day will be.

Please enter me in your drawing for a print copy of your book. Thanks again for sharing with us today, and please enjoy the Georgia Peach muffins I've just baked!
Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

CatMom said...

p.s. Well....just now saw that YOU have baked BLUEBERRY muffins! *grin* Hope you like peach too!
Hugs, Patti Jo

Kathleen Maher said...

Oh mercy, Patti Jo, I do love peaches, and I am anxiously waiting for them to ripen in NY. I planted two peach trees this year and they have the cutest little fruits on them. I feel like a doula anticipating my tree's delivery. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I am so blessed that my journey touches you and encourages you. Keep on being a blessing for HIM!

Playground Monitor said...

I just had a lightbulb moment a day late for Julie's blog. LOL! I recently saw a plaque that read "Grandchildren are your reward for not killing your own children." Loved it!

Marilyn

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kathleen, one of my favorite lines from Steel Magnolias is when Shelby says to Melyn: "I want to grow old and sit on a porch surrounded by oodles of grandchildren saying, "NO!" and "Stop that!"

That line is my life right now, and I love it!!!! It's so funny!

And oh my stars, I'll come on your blog anytime, goof. E-mail me and we'll set it up. We'll have so much fun!

Can we make fun of people? Or just Mary?????

:)

Joy Ross Davis said...

What a wonderful month of "firsts" for you, Kathleen! When I read Bachelor Buttons, I had no clue that it was your first! It is a wonderful story that I have re-read since I read it the first time. Blessings to you and to your precious family.

Kathleen Maher said...

Marilyn, that is a lightbulb moment, and a little pat on the back at the same time. Whew! Love it!

Steel Magnolias is one of my first favorite movies, Ruth. I think I am becoming Shirley McClain's character with my big dogs and bigger mouth. I could never be a demure and ever-gracious belle like the saintly Julie or my bff Debbie Lynne Costello. Speaking of, poking fun at character stereotypes might be a great subject when you're on my NY blog!

Kathleen Maher said...

Joy!!! so wonderful of you to come by! Oh my goodness, you read my novella more than once, you sweet lady? And I didn't even have to bribe you. This is a great day and you just made it even better. Thank you! <3

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville post side, Kathleen! Congratulations on all your firsts! Your grandbaby is beautiful! Enjoy! They grow up fast.

Bachelor Buttons sounds wonderful! You're blessed to have a family that passed down oral history. I'm curious about the significance of the title. Can you tell us more?

I've written a story set in New York City with an Irish immigrant heroine, along with two books based on the orphan train. The research for the books both fascinated and appalled me. Immigrants had to be strong to survive.

Janet

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Kathleen, I SO enjoyed "skipping along" with you as my crit partner and I enjoyed being a CPer in return. You made the journey so much more fun--like chasing butterflies through the meadow even though there was a Civil War going on.

Congrats!! And can I have a muffin, please!! XOXOXOXO

Sandra Leesmith said...

Welcome to Seekerville KATHLEEN. Have fun today with one of your suddenlies. smile

Brenda Anderson said...

So fun to see you here, Kathleen! Congratulations on all your firsts! Very excited for you!

Kathleen Maher said...

Janet, thank you! I've only read one of your books, I believe about a doctor? so now I need to find these NYC titles. The orphan trains were a fascinating bit of history. I know I will love them.

Bachelor Buttons refers to the flower that Miss Rose grows near her tenement--one of the easiest of all to grow, and in bloom right now in NY. It also symbolizes her choice between two eligible bachelors.

Thank you for your kind words about my babies. :D Looking forward to many more to come, with the help of God.

Kathleen Maher said...

CARRIEEE! Sorry for screeching, but its so wonderful to have you here to celebrate our novellas.
What everyone doesn't know is that Carrie was supposed to share this post, but being the incredibly selfless person she is, she bowed out and left me in the spotlight. But she deserves to be celebrated, because her novella is now up to #13 if it hasn't climbed even higher overnight.

LOL about skipping through the daisies despite the war going on. That's kind of like the writing life, isn't it? :D

Kathleen Maher said...

Sandra and Brenda, I can't begin to tell you how amazing it is to be here. Thank you. Seekerville is one of those things in my mind that has become a milestone, like when a football team wins the Superbowl and they get to go to Disney. Seekerville is my Disney after making my debut! Thanks for being so warm and welcoming.

Anne Payne said...

Hey Kathleen, Congrats on your firsts! Grandbabies are wonderful, aren't they? I loved Bachelor Buttons. Such a sweet and poignant story with a beautiful fragrance. It's lovely to hear more about your journey to publication.

Tonja Saylor said...

Congratulations on you grand-baby and book! I love historical fiction and that you based the characters on actual people.

Kathleen Maher said...

Anne, you have been such a support and cheerleader in my launch--thank you! You personify the best of this writing community. You are a true blessing.

Kathleen Maher said...

Tonja, it was such a God-thing that my great, great grandmother's story fit with this project. I had always wanted to use her unusual courtship in a tale, but needed the right setting. So blessed it turned out to be my debut story. God's timing is always a mystery from my end, but He had the plan all along. :D

Sally said...

Enjoyed the post today! Thanks for sharing. Grandbabies are the best, or so I've been told. Spoil them and send them home! I'd love to be entered in the drawing! Thanks!
tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

susanlulu said...

I'm glad I found you! I love giveaways! Thanks.
susanlulu@yahoo.com

Piper Huguley said...

What a sweet picture of your grandson!

Although I hope not to be a grandmother for a long, long time (ds is still a preteen), I do enjoy hearing other people talk about their grandchildren. I know ever since my mother became a grandmother (after a long, long time), she has enjoyed her grandchildren very much. Thank you for your insights to your series and blessings to you and yours Kathleen!

Piper
huguleyriggins@hotmail.com

Cindy Regnier said...

Hi Kathleen and welcome to Seekerville. Toss my name in - what a great prize! Loved reading about your writing journey. We all have the same destination but get there is so many different ways. What a sweet baby - enjoy that grandson. You can be one of those "young" grandmas.

Judy said...

Kathleen,

Congrats on being a Grandmother for the first time! Getting older isn't so bad when we have these precious grandchildren to love on!

I enjoyed your post. It literally made me cry. I've been going through some rough patches lately with family and feeling like an orphan. You inspired me when you wrote.....It was discouraging to say the least, and became tempting to sell out my message of hope and redemption, of God’s transformational power, but for God’s staying hand, keeping me. I long ago dedicated my writing, my craft, my message and my life to the Lord. Honoring him with all He has given me has been my offering to Him, and if He chose to bless my efforts, that was in His hands alone.

Thank you for your commitment to the Lord.

Blessings!
Judy B
judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kathleen Maher said...

Piper, it's a pleasure to "meet" you! Enjoy your son while he's still young--the years fly. I can still remember vividly what it was like to hold my oldest as a baby, and now he has a baby. Madeleine L'Engle is so right, there are wrinkles in time and becoming a grandparent is surely one of the tesseracts. ;)

Susan and Sally, thank you both so much for coming and cheering me on! Best of luck in the giveaway.

Debbie Lynne Costello said...

Hey Girlfriend! sorry I took so long to get over here. Another hectic day. But you know how those are! So wonderful to see your novella in print. You give me waaaaay to much credit, but then we already know we have agreed that we disagree. ;o) So proud of you and happy for you.

Kathleen Maher said...

Judy. Oh, sweet girl, hang in there. I am convinced the enemy is fighting more fiercely than ever, and if you are pleasing to the Lord you are in the crosshairs. Lifting up a prayer for breakthrough for you, and I am honored the Lord used my words to strengthen you today. The glory is His! Put on your favorite worship CD and let Him fight while you praise!

Kathleen Maher said...

Cindy, from your lips to God's ears! :D And my husband's too--especially the part about being young. heehee
Thanks for joining the fun today. Lord bless you on your journey, too!

Kathleen Maher said...

Debbie Lynne, I could never credit you enough for five years of your patience, grace, and professionalism. Not to mention your friendship and prayer support. It goes so much deeper than the writing, doesn't it? The Lord sets the solitary in families, and I have been adopted by the Costello clan. :D Love you, girl! Thanks for coming by.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Congrats on the new grandbaby, Kathy! And the new book baby! I can't wait to see what other firsts you have in store! Are you coming to ACFW this year?

Debbie Lynne and Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathleen Maher said...

Hey, Melanie! Thanks for the congrats. It's been a rollercoaster year. The highs have been very high, and the lows have been, well. . . an exhilarating drop at times. LOL I am afraid I cannot make conference this year. But I will be cheering you all on from New York. :)

Pam Hillman said...

Congrats on ALL your healthy, newborn babes, Kathleen!

Suddenlies is definitely par for the course in publishing.

Hurry up and wait, then JUMP!

Julie Lessman said...

KATHLEEN!!! WHOA, GIRL ... you're smokin' today, and my humble apologies for coming late to the party. I have company staying with us, so I've been short on time, but excited to see such a enthusiastic response to your VERY inspirational post!

Thanks for being a hostess with the mostest, and Helen brought the coffee (bless you, young lady), so I have a Southern brunch in honor of your terrific Civil War novella.

Help yourself to steaming Southern pecan coffee or mint juleps, ambrosia (the real kind, not the stuff with cool whip), braised-pork hash, creamy stoneground grits w/ Lowcountry breakfast shrimp, eggs with creamed spinach and country ham, and slow-roasted tomatoes (or scalloped tomato casserole with croutons). Spoonbread, buttermilk biscuits, sugared berries w/ cream, warm sweet-potato pudding with apples and chestnuts, and bourbon-pecan sand tarts. YUM!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, HELEN, thanks again for setting up the coffee, girlfriend, and YES, IE hates me -- we've already established that. Every time I post a blog (except this one, thank you, God!!), people accessing through Internet Explorer cannot see the blog. Mozilla, Safari, and Google Chrome or just fine with me, but IE truly hates me. :(

And, KATH ... I forgot to congratulate you on that new and ADORABLE bundle of joy in your life -- it's the best, my friend, and I didn't believe that till it happened to me. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Kathleen Maher said...

Pam, that's so true! Hurry up and wait, then JUMP! Ha! I am learning to dance in my senior years, I guess. And praying for siblings for both of my newborns. LOL!

Kathleen Maher said...

Julie, the hostess to make Southern Living jealous! Oh my goodness, I am honored. I'll have to walk down to the Mason Dixon line and back to work off this virtual feast.
I've been so blessed by the love and support here today. Thank you once again for making it possible for me to share my story with your awesome readers. Apparently cute babies are an easy way to endear oneself to such a warm crowd. :D

Tina Pinson said...

Hey Kathleen,

congrats on the book and that beautiful grand baby. I think he should be friends with the new prince. My sister lives in England I keep waiting for her to become fast friends with royalty so I can get into the palace as well. Perhaps that why they are sending out invitations to her for tea. Hmmm.

:-)

Tina Pinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debby Giusti said...

Kathleen,

Loved reading about your journey and your firsts in July. Congrats on your debut!

Lucas Joseph stole my heart, of course. I have a Joseph, who was born on Christmas. All guys/babes named Joseph are special, very special! Met another new Joseph at church on Sunday. He stole my heart too. :)

Gettysburg is one of my favorite spots to visit and explore. Also nearby Emmitsburg where my Joseph married the love of his life. :)

Growing up in Northern VA, Gettysburg was almost a yearly school trip destination. We usually ate a picnic lunch near Devil's Den and then had time to climb the rocks and pretend we were sharpshooters.

Touring now as an adult, I find the battlefield poignant. Truly it is hallowed ground.

Debby Giusti said...

Kathleen, you brought new faces to Seekerville today.

Waving to all your friends who are now our friends.

Welcome to Seekerville!

Kathleen Maher said...

Debby, What an amazing school, to instill in you and your classmates an abiding respect for history in such a poignant way. Have you read Jocelyn Green's Widow of Gettysburg? It is extraordinary, and I'll bet you will revisit the sights and sounds of that beautiful landscape as you savor every page.
Josephs are near and dear to my heart, too. It is one of those noble, Biblical names that I believe carries a blessing with it. Congrats on your own Joseph and the blessings he must bring!

Kathleen Maher said...

Tina, well, I'm sure that invitation to tea is just lost in the shuffle of the new Prince and all the hullabaloo. :) I'm sure that explains the delay on Lucas's play date invite, too. Yeah, I'm going with that.

Natalie Monk said...

Thank you so much for this post, Kathleen! I've been out of state with limited internet access and Seekerville withdrawals for nearly a month and this is the perfect post to come back to!

I'm still praying for my season of "Suddenlies" to begin.

Lately I've had thoughts of "is this writing thing worth it?" But your story gives me faith to push on a little farther. Thanks for the message of hope.

Myra Johnson said...

Kathleen, it's great to have you as our Seekerville guest today! I love your verse from Thessalonians--”Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands.” So glad working with our hands includes typing on a computer keyboard!

Congratulations on your Genesis win and the publication of your novella!

Kathleen Maher said...

Natalie, I am taking a minute out to pray for you and all those who are struggling with this calling. Father, I ask that you confirm your calling on Natalie's life, and that this would be one of several ways you speak to her heart in the coming week. I pray you equip her in craft as well as in spiritual armor to take on the giants in the land with the message of Truth. I pray that you cause Your writers' faces to be like flint as we face off with the abrasive and corrosive elements that seek to intimidate, harass and silence your people. Bring the right connections at the right time into all of our lives and may we be vessels of honor meet for the Master's Use. In Jesus' name, amen!

Myra Johnson said...

Also meant to congratulate you on the birth of your first grandchild! My first (of 6-going-on-7) is 18 and just graduated from high school--whew! Enjoy this precious little one. They grow up SOOOO fast!

Kathleen Maher said...

Thank you, Myra. After several hours at the keyboard when it becomes hard to grip a phone or open a mayonnaise jar, our hands are telling us they've had a work out, right? :D Thanks so much for your well wishes. Your novel was the very first thing I won on Seekerville. I still think about how you had the courage to write about a reformed prisoner as your hero. That was a wonderfully redemptive story. Bravo!

John Maher said...

Just jumping in want to say that I am proud of my wife, God has blessed her with gret talents and friends. But it is sad that I have been replaced by a new man in her life by a little guy named Lucas.

Kathleen Maher said...

LOL, John! He's *our* little man. And I am blessed to have the support and freedom you've always given me to pursue this brass ring. XXOO Couldn't have made it to the carousel without you.

Karen Kirst said...

Hi Kathleen,
Congratulations on both your babies. :) Your story sounds unique and it's clear you are very knowledgeable about your subject. I really like the verse you shared. I will have to write that down and remember it. Great post!

ainaa khan said...

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
Urdu Novels PDF

Kathleen Maher said...

Karen, what kind words! Thank you. Civil War and Irish history and NY are my passions, so it was the trifecta of awesome for me! And yeah, babies are pretty cool. :D Thanks!

Kathleen Maher said...

ainaa, welcome to Seekerville. This is a great place to meet awesome writers and find the next great read. Honored that you came by today and visited my guest post. Blessings!

Joy Hartshorn said...

Congratulations on both of those!

I love history, especially family history. I'll try to look into your book!

Pat W said...

Hi Kathleen....Congrats on your book. I will be adding it to my TBR pile. Please put me in the drawing. I get my first grandbaby around the middle of September. Soooo excited!

Lyndee....I've decided to be a "Grammy" too. Unless of course little Emmett Ross decides he wants to call me something else lol!

Sonja said...

Great job. I would love to be that lucky comment who wins the giveaway! I wish you much success!
Blessings,
Sonja
Sonja.nishimoto@gmail.com

Sonja said...

Great job. I would love to be that lucky comment who wins the giveaway! I wish you much success!
Blessings,
Sonja
Sonja.nishimoto@gmail.com

bonton said...

Congratulations on both babies - enjoyed your blog & would love to win the giveaway!

bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

Hallee Bridgeman said...

Congratulations on both your firsts!

Kathleen Maher said...

Joy, it's been an amazing month. Thank you! I hope you get a chance to read Bachelor Buttons. I had so much fun writing it, and I hope the fun and faith are contagious. :)

Kathleen Maher said...

Pat, congrats! Another Grammy. <3 September is a lovely month for a new baby.
I am honored to be in your TBR pile. It's a dangerous thing hanging out with so many amaxing authors, isn't it? My want to read shelf on goodreads is overflowing!

Kathleen Maher said...

Sonja, Bonnie and Hallee, You have each made my celebration special by your visit. Thank you so much! Best of luck on the giveaway.

Christina Rich said...

Kathleen!!!! You are such a wonderful, beautiful spirit and I love you dearly. Congratulations on the grandbaby. As of Sunday I'm a great aunt and I can't wait to see Lilian in person.

I love, love, love Bachelor Buttons. It's a fabulous story and I can't wait to see more works from you.

Kathleen Maher said...

Christina, girl, that is high praise coming from you. I am humbled. Thank you! Congratulations on baby Lilian. How precious! And isn't it fun when you're not the one on call 24/7? heehee

Jenny Blake said...

hi kathleen , I am also a civil war fan. I was in America in May and got to see Chickamauga battle field and then Gettysburg which was one place I really wanted to see. didn't know til I got to the states it was the 150 anniversary. Got to Meet Carrie in Williamburg.
I read Victory Song I think its Jerry Donner not sure of the authers name but it follows a group of men from New York state who went to war and how there faith was important to them. It was a really good book on the civil war showing life as a solider and the boredom etc.

Kathleen Maher said...

Jenny, that must have been a very memorable and moving tour of the battlefields. Wow! And so cool that you did it on the sesquicentennial. And that you got to meet Carrie! Did you have a chance to see Shirley Plantation, too?
I will have to look that book up--I can't believe I missed one about NY'ers! Thanks for the book recommendation. And thank you so much for coming by today! :D

Melanie Pike said...

Hmm...she thinks she's too young to be a grandma for the first time...she lives in upstate NY...she's known since she was in junior high that she wanted to be published...

Kathleen, are you my doppelganger? ;-)

I started writing in 7th grade, finished a part-contemporary, part-historical loooong novel by the time I graduated from high school, but I never dedicated my writing to the Lord because I wasn't saved until the age of 44. Became a grandma for the first time at almost-46 nearly 8 1/2 years ago--and now have 5 grandkids (8, almoat-6, 3, 2, and 8 weeks). And I live in western NY (about an hour east of Ruthy), which is upstate. (Are you anywhere near us?)

Congrats on your novella! And the baby, too--adorable! :)

Would love to have my name tossed into the ring for the prizes! Thank you.

Blessings,
Melanie

Kathleen Maher said...

Melanie, are you sure we're not the same person? LOL Too funny! I live near Corning/Ithaca, so I'll bet we aren't more than an hour or so apart. How cool is that!
I'm so glad you came by today! Wow, two of me. I've always wanted a twin. :)
Best of luck on the giveaway!

Jeanne T said...

Kathleen, I read your fun post this morning. But, I've been gone all day, and just now had a chance to comment. I love how you have dedicated yourself to writing for the Lord. What an encouragement. And, I love Third Day. I have one of their early Offerings CD's.

Oh, and your grandson looks adorable!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Kathleen's book was delightful. I hope she will write a sequel. How about it Kathleen?

Kathleen Maher said...

Thank you, Jeanne. I'm so touched that you took the time to read and come back and comment. I remember the turning point in my art--in high school so many of the kids were painting these horrible goblins and bats and devils, as if they were all creating from the same nefarious source of inspiration if you can call it that. It was so evident to me that I wanted my painting and writing to be uplifting, to bring people to a place of peace and hope and light. I can sum it up with that old Bob Dylan song "Serve Somebody"--we're all reflecting something, and I wanted my something to be the Lord. And so I dedicated my gifting to Him and asked Him to anoint my art. I don't believe I have arrived, but I do believe it has opened up something vital in my journey.

Kathleen Maher said...

Susan, you are the sweetest! Rose was a fun character. I could definitely be in her head one more time, but I'll have to play around with some ideas. If I do, I promise you will get the first signed copy. LOL

DebH said...

kathleen
thank you for visiting today - your experience gives me hope. i'm glad for all your suddenlies - rewards for your due diligence i'm guessing.

i think it's so neat you developed a character from your family history. it makes me want to look into some of my family history for inspiration. it's a tad more complicated since i was adopted (and found my birth parents), but still...

would love to be in the drawing.

and your grandson is adorable.

Kathleen Maher said...

Deb H, Thank you for your generous comments. I take no credit for these suddenlies. It's sweet of you to think its my due from diligence, but the truth of the matter is it all lies in God's timing. As you follow a passion to write, most people will naturally improve craft. I'm no more special than others who love words and story. But I have found peace by waiting on God to open the right doors. He really does lead us where to knock if we listen.
And I'm already hearing amazing story potential in your family history. I know you'll find your muse. Write on!

maudemaxine@gmail.co, said...

Congratulations Kathleen, my friend, on both babies. i was only 39 when I was Gramma for the first time. Then I had 9 and 3 step-kids. Now I am Grammy to 19 great-geandkids. LOL So glad each time another comes. I am thrilled that your book is now in print. That's what I would like to have. Nice of you to be invited here on Seekersville. I haven't checked in on this bunch in a long time. Would love to win this book of yours tho. Maxie Anderson
mac262(at)me(dot)com

Kathleen Maher said...

Maxie! I am honored that you came by this evening to say hi. Wow! You have three years on me for youngest Grammie. :D God has blessed you with a quiver full of little arrows!
I am delighted that you entered for the giveaway, and I wish you the best of luck in the drawing.

Chill N said...

Kathleen, I haven't had time to read the comments yet, but wanted to tell you the footrace is wonderful. Do you use that in your story?

What an exciting period you're writing about! And congrats on that sweet #16.

Nancy C

Kathleen Maher said...

hi, Nancy. Yeah, I do use that in the story. I try to strike a balance of light and entertaining with the ominous history in the background. Thanks for coming by! Good luck on winning.

Julie Lessman said...

MARILYN SAID: " just had a lightbulb moment a day late for Julie's blog. LOL! I recently saw a plaque that "Grandchildren are your reward for not killing your own children." Loved it!

OH, AMEN TO THAT, my friend!!

And, KATHLEEN ... yep, babies and hunky heroes are winners every single time ... ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Kathleen Maher said...

Julie, Debby, Janet, Myra, Tina, Ruthy and all, thank you soooo much for having me on today. I am heading to beddy by basket land, and have had a wonderful day here. Will check back in the AM.
Good night, Seekers!

Linda Marie Finn said...

Awesome interview Kathleen, your so awesome , so is Carrie and Murray ! Would love to win !

Linda Finnfaithfulacres7@gmail.com

Linda Marie Finn said...

Awesome interview Kathleen, your so awesome , so is Carrie and Murray ! Would love to win !

Linda Finnfaithfulacres7@gmail.com

Kimberly said...

Hi Kathleen, it's great to see you here! I promote giveaways on your blog weekly and so appreciate the ministry you provide to authors.
Congratulations on being a grandma and on the print version of your book. :)I really enjoyed your post.
Many blessings,
Kimberly Rose

Amy Sullivan said...

Hey!
Saw your post over in the Hartline group, and so I decided to pop over. Congrats!

Natalie Monk said...

Thank you so much for the prayers, Kathleen!!! Blessed my heart.

Kathleen Maher said...

Linda, sweetie! Nice to see you here! Thank you for being such a generous cheerleader for the CRy of Freedom series! You rock!

Kathleen Maher said...

Kimberly, oh my goodness! Thank you for your faithful posts on fictionaddictionfix. And thanks for coming by here and leaving me a comment. I am so blessed to have so many kind friends. <3
Amy, how cool of you to come on over. Seekerville is awesome, isn't it? And Hartline! :D Blessings!
Natalie, we all need that encouragement. I would love to hear how the Lord confirms and boosts your calling this week.

Rachel Jones said...

Kathleen,
Congrats on your first grandbaby. I've been a labor and delivery nurse for 22 years and watching families meet their sweet baby (or babies) is a favorite part of my job. I'm excited about your other baby, Bachelor Buttons. I love the Civil War Era, so when I began reading your blub, I though okay. Then you threw in a doctor and if that wasn't enough, a viloin instructor. I have a bachelors degree in music education (taught music for 10 years before becoming a nurse). So I'm hooked. Bachelor Buttons will be added to my Kindle home list today. Thanks for sharing and best of luck with your future endeavors.